Soft Tissues in Fossils

That dating was performed with Ar-40. In which case, that is the difference between 99.7% of the expected amount being there (5,500,000 years as a result) and 100% being there (now as the result). That is within a plausible error bar.

Seeing as you could not be bothered to supply the reference, here is David Shormann’s original Creation Research paper: 40Ar/39Ar Calibration against Novarupta: No Good Reason to Believe in Millions of Years. The intended takeaway is in the title, which is generally enough for his audience. Your post is off by an order of magnitude, however: “the 100-year-old rhyolite from Novarupta still gave apparent ages as high as 5.50±0.11 million years old”, not 55 million.

The New Mexico Geochronology Research Laboratory which performed the measurement used for Shormann’s paper, has a page giving an overview of the assumptions, technique, and limitations of this dating procedure.. To be useful, any radiometric procedure has to be done on samples applicable to the measurement, and proper handling and preparation protocols must be followed. There are dozens of different techniques, and they all have their particularities and applicable age range, and some are inherently more accurate than others. They can all fail from mishandling or incompetence. This is nothing evasive or embarrassing. Just because you would not want me to do your triple bypass does not mean there are not competent people who can.

As you have had explained before, and studiously ignore; if you weigh a cup of flour on a truck scale, the flour would not even register. If you weigh a truck on a kitchen scale, so much the worse for the scale. That does not mean there is some conspiracy of chefs to deceive the public and promote atheism, that is just limitations of the instrument. Argon-40 has a half life of 1.25 billion years. That means that eruptions within the past few thousand years would be challenging or impossible to date, using an inappropriate scale.

Age measurements, properly done, have proved their value scientifically and commercially. Carbon dating is thoroughly tested, well understood, and from that alone we have incontrovertible evidence of continuous human history uninterrupted by any global flood over the past 60,000 years.


Pardon me while I point out the obvious: Egyptian mummies are found in tombs constructed by humans. Dinosaur bones are found in layers of rock.

Pardon me while I fall off my chair laughing. Sorry I couldn’t make it though half the thread before giving up. Y’all have at it.

Even the publicity coming from scientific publications has not been overly accurate with many of the “soft tissue” reports - like most journalism, too much hype and not enough checking the details. Some of the reported “soft tissue” has not held up under further work, such as the dinosaur “heart” that is just a concretion.

Note also that Mary Schweitzer is a former YEC. Having learned geology, she is now appalled at the misuse of her research by young earth advocates, as it brings Christianity into disrepute.

It is not clear whether Armitage actually had dinosaur bone versus something much more modern - it was not adequately documented.

The difficulty in trying to say what soft tissue could not be preserved for 65 million years is that many different things can happen around the globe. For example, if a dinosaur managed to fall into a hypersaline lagoon and get encased in salt, there might be unmineralized remnants of thoroughly dessicated muscle. Both the chances of it falling in and of the salt deposit surviving and being found seem quite low, but not completely impossible But the “soft tissue” that has been found associated with dinosaur remains is material that can last a very long time, and it poses no problem for an old earth. Neither old-earth journalists trying to make their headlines more tempting clickbait nor young earthers are being honest when claiming that the preservation is puzzling. The preservation is impressive and uncommon, but not overly surprising. Tough but flexible protein structures were well-documented from far older fossils long before the excitement over dinosaur material. What is impressive about Schweitzer’s work is developing the techniques for analysis.

More generally, this gets at the problem above: “One could admit that the science, as far as is currently known, does not favor a young earth, while hoping for progress on the topic in the future.” “There are some YEC that take this approach, particularly in geology. But they are not “hoping” to make progress. They are actively researching and believe they are making significant progress.”
No progress has been made in developing viable young-earth models in geology, because they are not researching geology. They are researching ways to persuade the public that science supports their position, rather than researching how the earth works. Again, progress will only occur if there is significant effort to eliminate bad arguments. The amount of time spent claiming that one is highly successful tends to have an inverse relationship with reality (see, e.g., Putin). For example, the RATE project was highly touted, but achieved nothing more than claiming that greatly speeding up radiometric decay could help to dodge a problem for young-earth claims, if you ignore problems like producing enough heat to melt the earth. Actual progress in young-earth geological explanations must be measured by whether they can give any useful information about the earth such as where to find natural resources or what fossils should be in what layers, not in whether they can keep fooling the public.


Exactly. @adamjedgar keeps bringing up the Flood, sediments, and dinosaurs, but he has never addressed any of the problems pointed out by Glenn Morton decades ago.




The whole essay is worth reading, but this is the kicker. Glenn had made a point to hire geologists from YEC colleges. Then he started calling them years later.



And where are the bones? (Not fossils)

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And yet you spread exactly those bad wrguments by ignoring the context and written account of the Bible in order to support the interpretation of individuals who have those interpretations based on hypothesies that start with their is no God!
Those who follow a literal biblical account with their science interpretation do so because that written account they have in front of them is more than 2500 years of documented human history kthe book genealogies claim in excess of 4000 years)

And yet you spread exactly those bad wrguments by ignoring the context and written account of the Bible in order to support the interpretation of individuals who have those interpretations based on hypothesies that start with their is no God!"

This is incorrect on several points. Old-earth and evolutionary views do not start with the premise that God does not exist. On the contrary, most of the geologists who developed the modern understanding that the earth is quite old were Christians. The approach of workers such as Ussher, in seeking to create the best possible history of the earth by assembling all of the available data, led into modern old-earth geology as physical evidence was added to the written records. The modern young-earth movement is not a continuation of historical Christian views; this is a mistake based on the false dichotomy of young earth versus old earth. In reality, both young earth and old earth views fall into multiple categories. The old earth views based on assuming countless cycles (e.g., Hinduism, or many 18th-century deists) have no particular connection to modern geology, which reflects the geologic evidence for a long but finite and directional but humanly unpredictable history for the earth. Likewise, pre-1600’s young-earth views often put more emphasis on a figurative or symbolic interpretation of the days of creation than on any historical interpretation. Before the 1800’s, young-earth views often reflected “that’s all the good historical evidence we have, but if additional data come along, we’ll just add that in”, not the militant “nothing can possibly change my commitment to a young-earth position” attitude that functions as a legalistic false gospel in much of modern creation science. Thus, we see geologists of the 1800’s often appealing to the geological evidence for an old but finitely aged earth as evidence in favor of the Bible against deistic to atheistic cyclic models of history. Similarly, the first book to publish pictures reconstructing scenes from a series of geological ages concludes with a picture of Eden. Christians examined the accumulating evidence from geology, saw that it plainly pointed to a lengthy pre-human history, and figured that the additional time belonged somewhere before the creation of humans. This was not seen as a problem for the reliability of the Bible, and many early 19th-century geologists speculated that Noah’s Flood might be the most recent of the many apparently catastrophic events recorded in the geologic record. It was not until the mid-1800’s that it became clear that the geologic evidence for the most recent major geological changes better matched the effects of glaciers than of floods.

Nor am I the one who is ignoring context. The purpose of the Bible is theological, not scientific. The fact that Genesis 1 is talking about creation is no excuse to ignore that. Even the “historical” books are selecting incidents out of Israel’s history to illustrate theological principles, not aiming to teach us all about the historical statistics relating to the nation. That does not mean that the Bible is historically or scientifically inaccurate. But it is often imprecise when precision is irrelevant to its purpose. It omits many details that a historian or scientist would want to know; after all, we can research the evidence about those ourselves, but we can’t figure out essential information about God, salvation, etc. apart from His self-revelation. Rather than being a dry “just the facts” narrative, it makes extensive use of literary skill, including various figures of speech and symbols.

Likewise, we need to consider the original audience and their worldview. As John Walton has put it, the Bible was written for us, but not to us. We should not expect the Bible to have hidden clues to modern science. The science in the Bible is much more mundane - gravity worked the same then as now; it accurately reflects the geography, fauna, flora, etc. of the ancient Near East; and other everyday background information. There was little reason for ancient Hebrews (or, for that matter, even most modern humans) to be particularly concerned one way or another about the age of the earth, but all of us critically need to know that everything is a part of God’s creation. Thus, we should not fear or worship things such as the sun. Rather, we should appreciate and care for the world as God’s creation. Again, that contrasts with the many young-earth and ID advocates who promote bad anti-environmental arguments rather than sound stewardship.

“Those who follow a literal biblical account with their science interpretation do so because that written account they have in front of them is more than 2500 years of documented human history kthe book genealogies claim in excess of 4000 years)”

“Literal” requires careful definition, if it is to be used at all. Is it taking Psalm 98 literally to insist that rivers must actually have hands, and asserting that geographers are unbiblical if they deny it? That would be literalistic, but is definitely not a credible literary reading. Such extreme literalism is most typical of atheists making fun of the Bible. It is not a reasonable reading of the Bible. How do we recognize whether something is figurative or not? There are two main lines of evidence. One is context. The other is comparing to known external reality. But the modern young-earth reading of Genesis 1 insists that we cannot use external reality to help our understanding. Insisting that one’s interpretation must be inerrant is not the same thing as taking the Bible seriously, constantly seeking to improve our understanding.

The modern creation science approach is not following the biblical account with science interpretation, because it is not science interpretation at all. Rather, it is an attempt to justify a modernistic interpretation of the Bible as if it were modern science and not an ancient theological treatise by making up claims about science. But that approach does not follow the numerous biblical calls to honesty, to do work of good quality, to be faithful witnesses, etc. God does not want us to be PR agents for Him; He seeks people who will truthfully tell what we know and not pretend to know more.


Your lack of reasons would be a good indication.

But why would mummies represent the upper threshold of how well features can be preserved?

Of the fossils we do have, they all fit into the predicted nested hierarchy. This is why the fossil record is such a strong piece of evidence for the theory.

What features would a geologic formation need in order to contradict the YEC interpretation of the Old Testament?

If we have their fossils then they aren’t missing.

What features would a fossil need in order for you to accept it as being transitional between humans and a common ancestor shared with chimps?

Radiometric dating demonstrates otherwise.

You are ignoring the mountains of evidence that disproves the YEC view.


Why didn’t anybody tell me there was a game of Brockian Ultracricket? I could have been watching this instead of stupid football!


The consistency of radioactive decay is strongly supported. Radioactive decay is governed by the strong and weak nuclear forces, and any alteration of those forces tends to prevent atoms from existing. (Think of fine-tuning arguments about the need for the laws of nature to be exactly as they are.) We can see radioactive decay in distant supernovae following the same patterns as in labs on earth. From the basic laws of physics, we can predict approximately how stable or unstable a particular isotope should be. Of course, additional nuclear events and interactions can occur if you put things under extreme heat and pressure, and concentrating enough of certain radioactive elements makes it likely that stray bits from the decay of one will hit another and create an unstable condition (nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, stars, etc.), but these produce noticeable effects on their surroundings and distinctive products. (One uranium mine in Gabon had isotope ratios matching nuclear reactor waste - the concentration of 235U two billion years ago was high enough for the rock to function as a natural reactor.)

Applying these to determining a date usually requires working out evidence on the original concentrations and measuring the modern concentrations. However, fission track dating actually counts the number of holes in a crystal produced by the decay of radioactive atoms.

Although carbon-14 dating is very useful, and supports the accuracy of the Bible against skeptical criticism, it is probably the messiest of radiometric dating techniques. Unlike the relatively straightforward behavior of isotopes in cooling magma or lava, carbon can go through all sorts of paths in earth’s surface environments. Thus, it is essential to consider where carbon comes from and whether there are potential sources of contamination. But life is carbon-based, and carbon dating is useful for most of archaeology and late Ice Age material, so there’s a huge amount of stuff of interest to study that can give a carbon date. Once you get past about 20,000 to 70,000 years (depending on just how clean you can keep your sample and how good the equipment is), there’s too little carbon-14 left to be distinguishable from background contamination from the air, you, etc.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Job and Dinosaurs

Will try to split the Job discussion out to a new topic, Job and Dinos, so if you are missing a post here, look for it there. As it is likely there is a little mixing of the topics, my apologies.

Can you put numbers on all the probabilities involved with error bars please.

Get you church to help perhaps.

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what what???
I would suggest that the actual reality of this is quite the opposite. If radiative decay was so consistent, how on earth did they manage to date rocks from the Mt St Hellens Volcano at many many thousands to even millions of years old?

Even apart from the volcano issues, having to use multiple methods of investigation in order to even come up with millions of years does not rely entirely on radioactive decay…so why even make this claim when it isn’t the sole source of evidence used in dating?

The final problem, given that scientists do not have an “ancient bar/standard”, one is applying current world values to millions of years ago. If the earth experienced volcanic activity, and given the inaccuracy of dating Mt St Hellens rocks and also a number of other volcanic events over the last 50 or so years, clearly it would be impossible to set any kind of threshold for millions of years ago. the best that one can do i believe is start at the point where those standards began to be measured by modern science. We cannot date back millions of years without knowing exactly what variables greatly corrupt the dating timeline. The reality is, we were not there and it is not possible to even accurately theorize on what that standard might have been.

We have a bible statement in Job telling us that Behemoths clearly lived with modern animals…something secular interpretations simply cannot allow because they do not believe God created all of these animals together (they don’t even believe in God). We have Central/South American rock paintings and other evidence where those tribes that date to around the time of Job or later in history have drawn images of their tribe/s hunting Behemoths exactly like sauropods and images of other dinasoars interracting with man far more recently than millions of years ago! So the evidence in favour of this isn’t just biblical. I cannot see how one can reconcile radio decay dating methods with the written history if that documented history clearly does not agree with it. Which is wrong? Obviously it isn’t the written history!


This artwork is called the Nile Mosaic of Palestrina. It depicts Nile scenes from Egypt all the way to Ethiopia. Scholars now believe this is the work of Demetrius the Topographer, an artist from Alexandria who came to work in Rome. The top portion of this remarkable piece of art is generally believed to depict African animals being hunted by black-skinned warriors. These Ethiopians are pursuing what appears to be some type of dinosaur.

You know fine what the answer to that one is, Adam. It’s been explained to you over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. For the benefit of anyone reading this thread who hasn’t already seen the explanations elsewhere, I shall repeat it.

Claiming that the results from Mount St Helens prove that the earth is young is like taking an old mechanical set of bathroom scales, seeing that they give a reading of 0.1 kilograms when you’re not standing on them, then standing on a new electronic set of bathroom scales and claiming that because the old one didn’t register zero, you could plausibly weigh nothing despite the fact that the digital readout says ninety kilograms.

The results of between 350,000 and 2.8 million years may sound like a lot, but these figures are less than one thousandth of the measured ages of the oldest rocks on Earth, which, for what it’s worth, were dated at 4.4 billion years using a completely different, much more accurate method.

And once again, there is nothing whatsoever “evolutionist” or “secular” or “anti-God” about this whatsoever. It’s how measurement works in every area of science.

For the simple reason that when multiple methods all give the same set of results, despite making different assumptions, that is cumulative evidence that those methods do, in fact, work as intended, and the assumptions were, in fact, correct. This is because for those results to all be wrong, they would have to be wrong in such a way as to all give the same wrong results as each other. Being wrong does not work like that.

Once again, this is how measurement and evidence works in every area of science. There is nothing whatsoever about this that is anything to do with “not believing God created all of these animals together.”

The reality is, we don’t have to have been there to accurately theorise and measure what the standards could have been back then. I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you this again, Adam. The “were you there?” argument is a lie.

This really belongs on the other thread, not this one. But suffice it to say, if you think that unambiguously depicts a sauropod dinosaur, you must be taking confirmation bias up to eleven. If it is a sauropod it’s a very badly drawn one: again, it’s neck is way too short. It could just as plausibly depict a large dog or an otter or something like that.

This is why young earthist arguments are such a joke. They present us with tiny samples with huge error bars, ambiguous drawings for which a sauropod dinosaur is only one among several other, more plausible interpretations, and on that basis they insist that hundreds of thousands of high-precision, rigorously cross-checked, tightly constrained measurements must all be consistently out by factors of a million despite the fact that those measurements all give the same sets of results as each other and also prove themselves time and time again in their ability to get real-world results such as finding oil.


“The consistency of radioactive decay is strongly supported.”

“what what???
I would suggest that the actual reality of this is quite the opposite. If radiative decay was so consistent, how on earth did they manage to date rocks from the Mt St Hellens Volcano at many many thousands to even millions of years old?”

First, to clarify exactly what I said: The consistency of radioactive DECAY is strongly supported. Any change in decay rates involves significant change to fundamental physics and disrupts the existence of matter. (Unsurprisingly, decay of an atom by electron capture is affected by the availability of electrons, which in turn is affected by the chemical context of the atom, but no electron-capture decay is used in radiometric dating.)

It is true that there are some additional steps involved in the process of going from the fixed rates of radioactive decay to radiometric dating. But those steps are also strongly supported. Indeed, it is the very predictability of radioactive decay and the well-studied factors to consider in using radiometric dating that makes it easy for unscrupulous young-earthers to know what sort of dating techniques can give bad-looking results if you ignore the guidelines. For example, there are two basic problems with the supposedly anomalous Mount Saint Helens dating. First, you need to make sure just what it is that you are dating - in the case of the volcano, distinguishing between material newly produced in the eruption versus older crystals that were blasted out in the eruption. Second, as has already been pointed out, you need to properly consider the resolving power of a particular method. To give another metaphor, a one cup kitchen scoop will not work at all for measuring the volume of a lake, nor the microliter volumes that I use for PCR. But that does not prove that the one cup measure is no good for measuring how much flour goes into a recipe. Similarly, to get a useful radiometric date, you need to consider the limits of the isotope and of your measuring equipment. The half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years. On the one hand, this means that a leaf that died yesterday and a leaf that died a month ago will not have significantly different levels of 14C - you need a somewhat larger time interval (or a disruptive event, in the case of 14C, such as a significant change in the number of atmospheric nuclear tests or a major burst of space radiation, though there is no similar option for the other isotopes used in dating rocks) to make a measurable difference. Conversely, once you get beyond about 20,000 to 70,000 years (depending on how clean your sample is and how good the equipment is), there’s so little 14C left that the unavoidable contamination from the air, touch, etc.) drowns out any signal from the sample. Also, the young-earth claims never mention the fact that using appropriate dating techniques for Mount Saint Helens gives accurate results. Michael Roberts tried working through John Wodemoreappe’s young-earth promoting list of several hundred anomalous radiometric dates. After zero of the first hundred examples proved to be accurate, he got tired of the exercise.

But also, radiometric dating is merely what gives the specific numbers. The record of events shown in the rocks and sedimentary layers requires a vast amount of time. This was suspected by the late 1600’s and conclusively demonstrated by the 1770’s. No young-earth view since then has seriously dealt with that fact. Instead, the approach has been to try to raise a bunch of piecemeal objections, with little to no concern for accuracy, and ignore the overall big picture.

If dinosaurs did overlap with humans, that would not pose any challenge to radiometric dating or an old earth. It would merely indicate that dinosaurs had survived for a long time in small populations without leaving fossil traces. In fact, the same silly claims about various ancient or supposedly ancient human references portraying dinosaurs are also invoked by Hare Krishnas as supposedly helping prove that humans have been reincarnating for hundreds of millions of years or by the ancient alien fraudsters to not clearly prove anything but simply to promote their conspiracy-theory slanders by calling into question honest science. The figure in the mosaic of Palestrina that you supply does not look much like a dinosaur - the neck, body, legs, and tail are all wrong in their proportions. Nor should we conclude that people back then had excessively skinny ankles.

“Which is wrong? Obviously it isn’t the written history!” The written claims about history made by many sources, including much of what is claimed about the history of science by atheists and young-earthers alike, are indeed wrong. (See, for example, the “History for Atheists” website, which is an atheist trying to get other atheists to clean up their act.) The description of Behemoth in Job is highly poetic (even the most ridiculous young-earth claims I have seen don’t claim that his bones are actually bronze, for example, and most realize that real animals don’t breathe fire - the latter metaphor is used of extreme anger elsewhere in the Bible) and brief. The fact that commentators suggest crocodile, elephant, whale, hippo, legendary dragon, etc. as possibilities reflects the fact that it simply isn’t a sufficiently detailed description to confidently identify what is being described. Likewise, the purported ancient human pictures of dinosaurs are not particularly accurate as representations of dinosaurs. Many can be seen, through comparison with other pictures in the same source, to be stylized representations of more familiar modern animals; those touting the “it’s a dinosaur” claim give the most dinosaur-like picture they can find, not a representative sample of the evidence. Of course, it’s also true that ancient people speculated about fossil bones. And there are genuine ancient pictures of extinct Ice Age mammals. Those do tend to be accurate enough to be thoroughly recognizable.


Here we go again. There are thousands upon thousands of cataloged ancient statuary, painting, engravings and mosaics, which depict familiar animals, such as lions, horses, crocodiles, and so forth. Some of these are breath taking in terms of their artistic quality and fidelity. If ancient artists actually witnessed dinosaurs, we would be in similarly plentiful possession of accurate representations. We do not, because no human has even seen a living dinosaur.

This same mosaic depicts a HONOKENTAYRA, a lion body with the head of a woman:

and here is a crocodile head on, well, something:

The creature being hunted you showed in your post is actually labeled by the artist as KROKODILOPARDALIS, a crocodile - leopard.


Here are two previous conversations about this topic:

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Even in prehistoric times they were carving critters that didn’t exist.
Consider this 40,000 year old lion man

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